COVID-19, FEATURE — May 22, 2020 at 2:22 pm

MSD seniors are given opportunities to celebrate their success

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Senior Fallon Trachtman receiving gifts to honor her graduation. Photo courtesy of Fallon Trachtman.

Although the Class of 2020 is dealing with the loss of their senior year and are adapting to this change, they’re finding many ways to celebrate and acknowledge their achievements for all their hard work. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many events for seniors have been canceled including their Prom and Graduation. Seniors are now being presented with opportunities to share their accomplishments and ways for families to display their graduating seniors.

Many families have purchased a yard sign through the company Fox-Mar that is placed outside of their home to honor their senior. Some have attached an image of their graduating senior on the yard sign while others chose not to add an image and simply state that they are a proud family of a Class of 2020 senior from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and other schools are included as well. As families share on social media, seniors are now getting more recognition for what they have lost, which has brought the community together. 

“My mom saw many yard signs that were being posted online and she wanted to purchase it to honor me. It was a complete surprise to see the sign outside with my face on it but it made me extremely happy to see that my mom wanted to do something nice for me. Many people in my community saw the sign and came to congratulate me,” senior Sarah Soares said. “Even though we aren’t able to celebrate our graduation normally, it is nice that we are still honored for what we have accomplished.”

The yard signs include the hashtag ‘#seniorstrong’ to make the signs unique and customizable. Many other websites have yard signs and banners that have other designs and personalized features. 

“When my family told me they were getting me a sign, I told them that I just wanted a standard simple one because I don’t want much of the attention in my neighborhood on me. I felt grateful that my family bought a sign because I know how much it hurt for not being able to celebrate my graduation,” senior Matthieu Eveillard said. “They also purchased a banner that is placed on their car that says class of 2020, it felt nice to know that my family is very proud of me and they just wanted to show off my accomplishments.”

A public group was formed on Facebook called ‘Adopt a Senior Coral Springs & Parkland’ where families post about their senior, broadcasting who they are and what school they attend. They are encouraged to write the caption ‘Not Adopted’ at the top of the post then when the senior is adopted they will remove the caption and replace it with ‘Adopted’. They may choose a senior by simply reaching out to them to receive their address and any additional information. 

“A nice lady named Meg who is a writer and has her own company adopted me. She gifted me a bracelet, a USF t-shirt, a mug, her book, a tank top with her brand in it and she surprised me with a real-life Mickey Mouse to my house. My family and I adopted 3 people and we got them many different things like gift cards, their future school merchandise and etc, senior Olivia Feldman said. “I was really happy with everything I got and was able to give back to other seniors. I loved that they came up with that idea to help kids get something since we don’t get to have a graduation.”

Seniors have received items to make them feel special like letters, gift cards, snacks, momentums, and anything homemade. It is completely voluntary and should be a family member or friend that sends the invites, they want to make sure everyone is taking safety precautions when delivering these items. Many families have volunteered since it has become a popular and fun activity for seniors. 

“I was co-adopted by The Anger Family, The Harris Family, and also by The Redmond Family. I’ve gotten some amazing and thoughtful gifts having to do with my college like an Emory water bottle, an amazon gift card to help purchase my dorm essentials, and other things I like,” senior Jared Block said. It’s incredibly nice of them to go out of their way to make us seniors feel appreciated,  I think it’s an amazing thing to do and families should participate.” 

With these activities, seniors are feeling appreciative and grateful that even though they will not be able to experience these events, they are still being congratulated and supported for their success. It has brought families together and has become a nice and safe alternative way to celebrate. 

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Anayiris Guzman is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is involved in many clubs at school, like Big Brothers Big Sisters and Peer Counseling.

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